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Album Review

Kid talent show discovery JoJo's self-titled Blackground Records, Da Family-affiliated debut is a slick set of modern R&B in the vein of Brandy or Monica, with plenty of room to introduce its star's bigger-than-you'd-think presence. A bank of producers — Vincent Herbert, Soulshock, Bink — provide backgrounds that bump decidedly in the midrange — there's a conscious effort to keep the focus on JoJo, and not whatever beats are currently making the grade. In other words, her vocals never sound detached from the goings-on behind her, or just a voice chattering over R&B generica. And this is promising, as the young singer really does have a tremendous voice. "Breezy" and "Homeboy" multi-track her trills, sulky whispers, and brassy wails over clicky percussion and a mixture of loops and instrumental snippets. Throughout there's talk of sheezies, throwbacks in the mix, cell phones, and the boy next door jilting poor JoJo. But even if the lyrics throughout are pretty interchangeable, vocally there's no doubt in her ability to carry the album, and the lack of irritating skits or attention-hogging guest shots is pretty refreshing. The funky jook of the Reggie and Ronald Burrell production "City Lights" features a few random "JoJo do that thing" drop-ins, but the girl gets right to the bottom of that freaky Beyoncé id, and aligns the cut with fellow standout "Not That Kinda Girl." Lead single "Leave (Get Out)" doesn't have a lot of staying power, but its guitar figure is a nice touch, and the chorus hits with the right amount of tell-off brashness. There's also a serviceable update of the 1992 SWV hit "Weak," the stripped-down strut of "Yes or No" (is that real beat boxing?), and the requisite ballad in "Never Say Goodbye." All in all, JoJo is a strong debut. Its centerpiece is never smothered with collabo pile-ons, and she's served well by the mix of arrangements and backgrounds. She's definitely courting middle-lane accessibility, but she rightly lets her singing do the talking, and that's a signal of where she's headed.

Customer Reviews

JoJo is amazing!!

for a girl who is only 15 years old this album may come as a suprise to you. Her voice sounds as a mix of Mary J. and some other amazing R&B singers. Its perfect for teens becuase we all can relate to bad boyfriends and friends that need you when their down. Its a catchy crazy album that you will be singing for hours on end!


We all know that Jojo came from a poor girl from a small city to one of the most loved R&B singers. With Jojo's pure vioce and wonderful lyrics this is a wonderful album for anyone!

JoJo da girl with the Mojo.

I gotta admit that when I first heard how old this girl was I was very skeptical. I mean she ain't lived long enough to sing about the stuff she's singing about. LOL But to say that I was pleasantly surprised is a HUGE understatement. This is indeed a strong debut with tight voclas. The girl can sing and dance! Eat your heart out Britney! The album itself is reminiscent of early Aaliyah. Nice and smooth R&B at its best. The highlights on the album are Leave [Get Out], Baby Its You and Weak. The latter being my favorite since its a throwback to the early 90's R&B.


Born: December 20, 1990 in Boston, MA

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Growing up on the outskirts of Boston, MA, JoJo listened and learned as her mother practiced hymns. She started singing by imitating her mother, but quickly put her own spin on everything from nursery rhymes to pop tunes. An ad in the paper announcing open auditions for the television show Kids Say the Darndest Things: On the Road in Boston lead to the young singer wowing the audience along with the show's host, Bill Cosby, and eventually led to a phone call from Oprah Winfrey offering Jojo a spot...
Full Bio
JoJo, JoJo
View In iTunes
  • $5.99
  • Genres: R&B/Soul, Music, Pop, Teen Pop, Contemporary R&B
  • Released: Jun 22, 2004

Customer Ratings